Adding “Homeside” to “Schoolside” Learning

Rockwood School District

“Homeside activities” are designed as an extension of “schoolside” activities. They further promote the development of a “Caring Schools Community.” The activities are built around conversations between students and their family members and thereby help create a partnership between school and home. They deal with topics and ideas related to the student’s schoolwork and may involve a short writing or drawing activity. In addition, Homeside Activities contribute to student academic and social learning by using family interaction to assist students in recognizing that school learning relates to “real life.”

Students will:
  • improve their ability to work cooperatively as members of their families and school communities.
  • understand and demonstrate that patience is necessary in their everyday lives.
  • be able to identify tasks they are responsible for at home and at school, while demonstrating accountability for their own choices and behaviors.
  • identify and demonstrate positive ways in which their words and actions affect others.
  • be able to identify techniques/strategies for controlling anger, disciplining themselves, and making good choices.
  • Grade level curriculum guide to match Homeside Activities to curriculum
  • Letter home explaining Homeside Activities (see sample)
  • Handout explaining specific Homeside Activities related to your school’s core values or character traits (see samples)
  1. Send a letter home describing the purpose of Homeside activities (see sample).
  2. Determine the value, virtue, or theme that will be the focus of the Homeside Activity. This may be your school’s monthly character trait, for example. Develop an activity that will engage families in a discussion of the character trait and connect what students are learning in class with life at home. Send home a handout that includes a brief description of the character trait or topic being focused upon, the objective of activity, an activity starter, and activity reflection questions. Homeside Activities that may be used as examples or adapted for use in your school include the following.
    •   Belonging: Building a School of Character One Family at a Time
    •   Self-expression: Express Yourself
    •   Responsibility: Spring Cleaning
  3. Families complete the activity at home and return any papers or items requested.
  4. Hold a class meeting to share and discuss the results of the Homeside Activity.
  5. Follow up by asking students to perform a project related to the curriculum that requires students to apply or demonstrate the identified character trait.
  6. Hold another class meeting to share and discuss the results.
Class meetings held after each Homeside Activity allow for evaluation of student understanding.
Extension activities that allow for more practice and greater understanding of the identified character trait or topic may be held in class. Additional Homeside activities can be sent home as needed. Connections between the identified character trait or topic, Homeside activities, and the curriculum should be made whenever possible.
National Character Education Center
http://www.ethicsusa.com

Good Character
http://www.goodcharacter.com

Character Education
http://midgefrazel.net/character.html

Literature-Based Character Education for Pre-K-6
http://www.heartwoodethics.org

CharacterEd.Net
http://www.charactered.net

National Center for Youth Issues
http://www.cyi-stars.org

Cyberbullying
http://www.cyberbullying.org

Newsletter for those who care about character
http://www.charactereducation.com/karikter

Resources created by Patrick Jones, Chesterfield Elementary
Web Quest for Black History and Character Education
http://www.rockwood.k12.mo.us/chesterfield/character/teachers/museum/
Internet Safety
http://www.rockwood.k12.mo.us/chesterfield/character/safety/index.htm
Immigration and Cultures
http://www.rockwood.k12.mo.us/chesterfield/character/teachers/cultures/
Lights!  Camera!  Character in Action!
http://www.rockwood.k12.mo.us/chesterfield/character/character%20in%20action.pdf
African Americans of Character Webquest
http://www.rockwood.k12.mo.us/chesterfield/character/teachers/museum/
Roxanna Mechem, director of social studies, character education, and assessment, in collaboration with the elementary schools of the Rockwood School District, a 2006 National District of Character, developed this lesson.